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U.S. completes troops withdrawal from Afghanistan

NHK’s Washington Bureau chief Takagi Masaru reported from Washington that the fact that the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan took place one day ahead of the August 31 deadline came as a surprise, expressing the view that it represented President Biden’s strong determination to end the longest war in U.S. history. He added that the suicide bombing that occurred in Kabul exposed the Taliban’s inability to control the activities of regional Islamic State affiliates and maintain public order. Noting that there are still many who wish to be evacuated from the nation, he said if the U.S. withdrawal leads to further confusion in Afghanistan, the nation could become a hotbed of terrorism again. Although some have high expectations that the Taliban have become more moderate than they were 20 years ago, it remains to be seen whether the group will honor the rights of women and ensure the safety of Afghans who have been cooperating with other nations, he added.

 

Takagi also said that given the recent turmoil in Afghanistan, there is no doubt that President Biden’s caliber as commander in chief will be called into question. Noting that massive amounts of human and financial resources have been invested in the Middle East nation, he claimed that the President will not be able to avoid criticism from the international community that such efforts may go down the drain. He added that the latest development will also deal a blow to the foreign policy of the Biden administration, which attaches importance to international cooperation. However, withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan had also been the policy of both the Obama and Trump administrations, Takagi said, and the U.S. public had been hoping for an end to the 20-year war. He pointed out that there is a certain level of recognition among the U.S. public that the U.S. successfully completed its original purpose of overthrowing an international terrorist organization. He added that history will judge the withdrawal based on how Afghanistan will develop as a nation and to what extent the U.S. will be able to fulfill its obligation to ensure stability in the region.

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